Yahoo Inc. CEO Marissa Mayer set off a tempest last week when she reversed her company's policy of allowing employees to work at home and said everyone must work in the company's Silicon Valley offices.

Mayer, a new mom who built a nursery next to her office, reportedly is trying to reverse the company's downward spiral. However, the nationwide backlash to her edict came fast and furious from working mothers and others who laud the telecommuting trend as a way to give employees flexibility to do their jobs and manage their lives and families, reported the Los Angeles Times.  

 

A Yahoo memo to employees said, "Communication and collaboration will be important, so we need to be working side-by-side. ... Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home. "

 

Only 2.5 percent of American workers primarily work outside the office, according to Telework Research Network, but that number is growing rapidly, up 66 percent from 2005 to 2010. A 2011 study by WorldatWork also found that companies that embraced flexibility had lower turnover and higher employee satisfaction, motivation and engagement.

 

On the flip side, researchers recently tested the results of face-to-face meetings versus virtual meetings by phone or video chat. The conclusion was that more creative ideas and marginally better ideas come from face-to-face meetings than virtual meetings, according to the study done by IMEX Group, an integrated marketing firm, in partnership with the Meetology Group.

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